Red, White & Rose 5K – Another Stroller run

September means the start of Fall festivals and lots of activities. This past weekend my mom’s shop had a booth at a local winery’s Fall Harvest Festival, which was also the second stop on a tour of races at Central Indiana wineries called the Red, White, & Rose race series. You can choose between running a 5K or 10K, and at the finish is a glass of wine, medal (corresponding with how many races in the series you’ve run), and free wine!

I’m not much of a wine drinker, but sign me up! My sister wanted to do the 5K, her first in four years. I was trying to decide between running in the 10K or pushing Baby A&W in the stroller for the 5K (she doesn’t like to go much longer than 4 miles in the stroller). At the last minute I decided I’d stick with pushing A in the stroller for at least one more 5K race.

Baby A&W has her game face on for the race.

Baby A&W has her game face on for the race.

The race small, about 215 running in both the 5 and 10Ks, but it was nice. The route was run along country roads by the winery, with very little traffic, and held in the early evening. The weather was perfect, especially after the chilly, wet start to the day.

Start of the race was a little tight with the country road.

Start of the race was a little tight with the country road.

I started next to my sister, but then slowly pulled away. I wanted to just go at a comfortable pace, but I also wanted to push our speed a little bit more. Then I just made my way through the crowd.

When we turned west after a half mile, we hit a strong headwind and the sunset. Headwinds suck, but they suck more while pushing a stroller! Plus I wanted to try to get A out of the sun as quickly as possible, so I pushed the pace a little faster. Once we turned south, we were out of the headwind and I was in a groove.

Finishing strong, A does not look too thrilled in this photo, but it was time for her dinner (which we promptly fed her as soon as I got her back to my mom's booth).

Finishing strong, A does not look too thrilled in this photo, but it was time for her dinner (which we promptly fed her as soon as I got her back to my mom’s booth).

We ended up finishing 26th overall, with a time of 30:00 and fourth in my age group (30-39)…with a stroller! I had a lot of compliments as to how I ran the race while pushing A. I’m sure I would have done better without the stroller, but it was more fun to let A experience the countryside and another race with her momma.

I’m continuing my race training for a half marathon in early November, but the mileage build up is slow. I’m not sure how many more races I’ll do this year with the stroller, but I hope to try to continue running with A until it gets too cold. It’s hard to believe summer is over!

Baby's first race medal!

Baby’s first race medal!

Colts 5K — First Race with a Stroller

Competing in the Colts 5K was a fun time. I only had a little bit of nerves because of my running partner–it was her first race so I wasn’t sure how she’d handle it. Would she be alright with the crowds? Would I push her too fast? Would she have a blowout in her diaper mid-race?

Hold up…blowout in her diaper? Yep, my running partner was my baby girl! We’ve been working for this race, slowly adding miles in the stroller to get her accustomed to the time spent and me accustomed to the extra weight and resistance that comes with pushing something up and down hills.

Race day dawned bright and early…about 30 minutes earlier than planned (apparently Baby A&W didn’t know I had set my alarm). That was OK, I got up and dressed quickly (I laid out my race outfit the night before, as well as hers), then got A up. I changed her diaper and got her dressed in her Colts onesie and shorts, plus a fresh diaper, and headed down for our pre-race meal–a piece of whole wheat toast with peanut butter for me, and a bottle of formula and bowl of oatmeal for her.

The stroller was already packed in the car, and so was her diaper bag. For the race, I didn’t want to be weighed down by my giant diaper bag, so I threw my Brica goPad Diaper Changer, which was great because it held 3 diapers, plus a small pack of wipes, and some small trash bags to dispose of the dirty diapers. It worked great! We ended up having to change A’s diaper after the race…in the end zone of the Colts’ stadium (Lucas Oil Stadium). (Hey, how many babies can say that??)

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The race started a little after 8. I lined up with a friend in the 10 minute pace, towards the back of that pack. I was going to do my best to not the stroller wheel into anyone, but I couldn’t guarantee it. Well, I only hit three people, and it was only minor, so I was proud of myself for that!

I had to remind myself to be patient with my weaving and moving around if we needed to pass people. Running with a stroller isn’t as flexible as running alone. I made sure to give us a wider berth in our route, and didn’t cut corners tightly. There were a few inconsiderate runners–one guy dashed across our running path, cutting it so close he almost hit my front tire.

Overall, the course was stroller-friendly, especially runner friendly. We started in front of the stadium, then ran the last tenth of a mile into and through the stadium. That part was really cool–we actually ran through the tunnel that the Indianapolis Colts run through when they come onto the field on game day. Then the finish line was the 50 yard line. The energy was awesome, and it was fun seeing the Colts cheerleaders lining up the last part of the race.

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We waited around and took photos while waiting for M and my brother-in-law, who were walking the race. Then we had to hurry on out because I needed to be on the road to Lexington for a friend’s baby shower.

But not before A met Blue, the Indianapolis Colts mascot… (she wasn’t sure about his furry arms and kept trying to pluck them LOL)

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I’m already looking forward to another fun race to do with the stroller. I hope to make running something Baby A&W can do together for a long time. While I don’t know if I see myself racing further than a 5K with a stroller (maybe a 10K, if I can build up her patience), they’re more fun that way.

I wasn’t able to get my race photo at this time, but once I do, I’ll post it–I’m pretty proud of it! 🙂

Your turn: Have you, or would you, run a race pushing a stroller?

Running While Pushing — Stroller Runs!

You might remember that while I was pregnant, I wanted to continue running for as long as I could, even completing a half marathon around 7 months pregnant. Shortly thereafter I stopped doing long training runs and just did short one milers interspersed with some weight training while doing CrossFit. Then it just became too uncomfortable to run very far (read: away from a toilet) and I knew it was time to slow it down and just walk.

Now that Baby A&W is 6 months old, I’ve been getting back into running and increasing my distance. I’ve been running again for a while now, I started back in April, but the distances weren’t too great, and the runs were irregular. I had to go only when M was home and could watch the baby, or when I got my jogging stroller, we could go for short runs while I pushed. (Let me tell you, pushing a baby, in her carseat in the jogging stroller, up and over the hills in my old neighborhood sucked, especially being out of shape!)

First stroller runs were rough, with the addition of the carseat (since A was too small to sit in the big kids seat) and just getting back into running after giving birth.

First stroller runs were rough, with the addition of the carseat (since A was too small to sit in the big kids seat) and just getting back into running after giving birth.

Now that life is a little different, I’m able to get out and run more, but mostly the same strip over and over. One of the disadvantages to living in the country is there’s not much to spice up the run like when I lived in Lexington–there were all kinds of different routes I could take from my house, and I could meet up with running buddies or my running group. Now I’m missing my running group, and my running buddies, who kept me motivated and kept me running regularly. However, I am making sure I get at least one run in a week, though I know it needs to be more.

I quickly learned that running with a stroller is a lot different than running on your own. You’ve already got a built-in head wind/resistance thing going for you. And you’re not necessarily the one who calls the shots as to how long your runs get to be–if baby’s unhappy, that run better be fast and short. Luckily, Baby A&W has been pretty good about the runs. Sometimes she gets a little too warm (no shade along the road doesn’t help), but she’s pretty good.

We’ve slowly worked our way up to running 4 miles with the stroller, which is great! I try to run with the stroller one day, then if I can talk someone into watching A for about an hour, I’ll sneak in a run by myself. Those runs are when I test my pace and I test my distance–I should be able to run a little further without the stroller than I do with the stroller because it should be easier, right?

Aubrey and I are getting ready to run in our first 5K together–it’ll be my first race since I finished the Iron Horse Half Marathon back in October, and it’ll be my first race pushing a stroller! We’re running in the Colts Kickoff 5K in downtown Indianapolis, where we’ll start the race outside Lucas Oil Stadium, and then finish at the 50 yard line of the field! I’m excited for the race, but a little nervous as to how things will go with a big crowd and me pushing the stroller. Plus, how will A act?

Don’t worry, I plan to chronicle our race and show you what I did to prepare not only myself, but baby, for the 5K. My goals for the race are to try to run the whole 5K without walking (or, rather, needing to walk, as I’m sure the crowd might force me to walk) and to not run into anyone with the stroller (the dogs will tell you that sometimes I don’t see what’s going on directly in front of the stroller sometimes).

Race for the Cure Recap: New 5K PR!

Saturday I did something I’ve never done before: I did day-of registration for a race. I used to plan months in advanced and train specifically for a race, but with all of the training and running I’ve been doing lately, I knew 3.1 miles would be fine. I woke up early Saturday morning to help M get ready for work and I had to decide between going to CrossFit or run in the Race for the Cure downtown. I was still pretty sore from Friday’s WOD, so I decided it’d be fun to go for a shake-out run with 8,000+ of my closest friends.

I met up with a couple of my friends before the race and did some dynamic warm-ups and stretches. The weather was uncommonly warm–I remember running in long sleeves in past Race for the Cures, but this time I was able to rock my SweatPink tank!

I went into the race just wanting to push myself and see what my time would be. I haven’t run in a race since the Run the Bluegrass Half Marathon, but I’ve always loved the Race for the Cure–it was my very first 5K (first race, period) back in 2009, and I’ve only missed it once (which was last year because it was the morning of my wedding and I didn’t have the time to squeeze it in).

The start of the race was crazy–so jam packed with tons of people. I ended up starting near the back half with my friends because we lost track of time, but it wasn’t too hard to weave in and out of traffic. It’s frustrating to me how some races don’t separate runners from walkers. They’ll announce “Walkers, please line up in the back” but most don’t follow and will be in the front. I think with bigger races like this there needs to be staggered starts (a couple of years ago they actually ran 2 races–one timed for the competitors, one not timed that started 30 minutes after…it worked great!). It was an out-and-back course, which is a change from years past, so that was a little boring. However, it was nice because the first half was all uphill, while the second half was downhill. Towards the end of the race I actually started to get tired–my legs had finally worked out their soreness, but now they were tired–but I saw the finish line up ahead so I kept pushing through.

No wonder I was feeling so tired: My final time was 26:46 (official chip time)!! I crushed my 5K personal record by more than one minute from the Alltech Countryside Canter last November! According to my RunKeeper app, here were my splits:

Mile 1: 8:34
Mile 2: 8:37
Mile 3: 7:55

Did you see that third mile?? 7:55? That’s the fastest I’ve ever run a mile!

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I felt awesome, totally proud of myself. I remember when I ran this 5K the first time in 2009, I walked once or twice. This time it was like a walk in the park. I have to say that I haven’t felt so fit and so strong ever in my life. I’m running only once or twice (if I’m lucky) a week, and doing CrossFit at Man O’War CrossFit everyday, and I think that has been a big difference maker for me. I’m so much happier after discovering CrossFit.

The results still aren’t up, so I don’t know where I finished in my age division, but that’s OK!

Your turn: What was your first 5K (or race)? How different do you feel now compared to then?

First Age Division Placement!

Over the weekend I ran in my first normal 5K of the year…not my first race, but first regular 5K–no climbing over walls or battling through mud, not as long as a 10K or a half, but a simple 5K at the Kentucky Horse Park. I signed up for the Alltech Countryside Canter 5K, which was part of the Alltech National Horse Show. It’s the first year for the race, and the proceeds was going towards the All Glory Project, which helps wounded soldiers make a comeback with animal-assisted therapy. So it was perfect for me!

The morning was very brisk! When M and I headed to the Horse Park (he was my “cheerleader from a distance” while sitting in my truck with the heater one), it was 36 and the sun was just starting to rise. I’m still new to dressing for cold weather running, but I thought I chose the right outfit–Nike cold gear running capris, a short-sleeved tech shirt with my Brooks pull-over, and a fleece pullover with gloves and headband for the ears. I warmed as well as possible, then went into the indoor arena to stretch before the race started. It was a small race (not advertised very heavily), so they didn’t have chip timing, but that was OK because I had my phone with me to use my RunKeeper app.

The course was a simple out-and-back around the back of the Horse Park. If you’re a horse lover (and even if you’re not), you would love this scenery–horses and riders hacking in the early morning midst, the smell of expensive horse-flesh–I didn’t need my headphones to keep me going!

The route was hilly, with long, gradual inclines and declines–at first I thought I was pushing too hard going uphill, but then I worried that maybe I wasn’t pushing myself enough. But either way, when all was said and done, I went into my last gear as we neared the finish, determined to PR in the race. I came in 8th place for the women, and checked my phone–a 27.32 5K (8:50 pace)!! Not bad for a hilly course on a freezing morning!

I decided to stick around for the awards (I never have for any other race), because I figured with the small number, I at least placed in my age division. When they got to the females 20-29, they called my name as first! I was totally surprised, but so happy! I turn 30 in a week, so it was a nice to make my first age group placing in my last effort in my twenties a win!

Now to work on that 2013 race calendar….but more on that one later….

Do you remember your PR and your first age group placing?